NEW YORK (JTA) – Scott Rothstein, the disbarred South Florida lawyer accused of running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, has pleaded not guilty to U.S. charges of wire fraud and conspiracy.
Rothstein entered his plea to U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenberg in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday, according to reports.
According to prosecutors, Rothstein’s scheme started in 2005 to finance his 70-person law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler PA. Investigators believe that he had a number of co-conspirators, who helped propagate the fraud and to lure more unsuspecting investors.
As part of the scheme, Rothstein told investors that they could buy stakes in pending class action lawsuits and collect money when they were settled.
His victims have already sued TD Bank, where Rothstein and his co-conspirators held more than 30 accounts.